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The Influence of Automation in Construction Industry

Year 2023
November 2023
The Influence of Automation in Construction Industry
23 Nov 2023

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When we talk about “automation”, we primarily think about the replacement of robots or machines for manual work. However, the reality is far more nuanced. In years past, productivity in construction increased slowly at best. According to much research, there was very little improvement in construction output in the United States between 1947 and 2010, when there was no automation in the process. However, at that time, the efficiency of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors when applying automation increased significantly. So, one major benefit of automation in construction is the potential for quite a large uptick in productivity. In this blog, we will delve into how automation impacts on some construction aspects. 

Table of Content

Definition of Construction Automation

Automation in construction means the methods, techniques, equipment, analysis processes, and even the process of building itself using automated workflows. Beginning with the software-based design, then automated components (off-site and on-site construction), and concluding with data exchange on the systems and energy use of completed buildings.  

In sum, the primary goal of automation in construction is to increase productivity, reduce costs, and better project results overall. Tasks such as bid management, planning, work assignment, and materials management for construction projects, and other construction activities can be performed more quickly and precisely with the use of construction automation software. One of the powerful all-in-one solutions for those tasks can be named is Synergix ERP construction software. 

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Impacts of Automation on Builders

Job Assignments 

It is common that construction companies sometimes must handle multiple projects simultaneously. Typically, each project will have a designated delegation to be responsible for its successful completion. However, it’s not always feasible to have a separate delegation for each project. As a result, individuals may find themselves overseeing 2 or 3 consecutive and overlapping projects. This situation can quickly become overwhelming, leading to a significant amount of paperwork and information to manage, including contractor documents, bidding files, and construction materials, among others. According to many studies in the past, there was a large percentage of contractors spent more time on the bid completion process, which takes up a large of precious time. This time-consuming process can drain valuable resources and hinder overall productivity. That’s why it is important to adapt automation in construction like using an ERP construction system to automate and ease the process. Such a system helps centrally manage the delegation of responsibilities for employees in charge of several construction projects. 

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Project Scope Management 

A comprehensive ERP construction software helps to ensure smooth project progress. With this software in place, staff can automatically track the project’s advancement and get real-time insights into the time, effort, and expenses associated with it. This level of transparency not only helps in keeping costs within budget but also enhances productivity among builders during operational activities.  

Furthermore, laborers can effortlessly monitor, streamline and ensure that many construction documents such as permits, blueprints, change orders and contracts, are properly managed and easily accessible to the relevant parties. Therefore, the risk of miscommunication, delays, or errors will be reduced, allowing the project to proceed as intended. 

Read more: Importance of ERP for Construction Project Management 

Cost Reduction and Resource Management 

Contractors are well aware of the ongoing consequences of the COVID pandemic even as we are about to end 2023. Despite an increase in demand, particularly in the commercial building sector, construction companies have been negatively impacted by supply chain interruptions, labor shortages, and increased material costs. By embracing automation, construction companies are experiencing streamlined project timelines, heightened productivity, a notable reduction in human error, and the likelihood of re-starting projects, overall costs are reduced and optimised best. 

Moreover, automation in construction enables the optimisation of resources, allowing fewer workers to tackle repetitive tasks. This, in turn, leads to decreased hiring expenses and enables the reallocation of labor for other essential purposes.

The presence of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems further enhances the benefits of automation. It only requires a few people to perform tasks overnight, which means extra work is completed without excessive human supervision. 

Impacts of Automation on Construction Skills and Wages

With the increased efficiency brought about by automation in construction, tasks that once required substantial time and effort are completed faster. However, this transformation often comes with its challenges. The shift toward automated processes may lead to skill-based wage disparities, with increased demand for workers proficient in operating and maintaining automated systems. On the other hand, non-skilled workers will receive far lower pay or may lose their jobs. Therefore, compared to industries that automation has supplanted, those that rely on the labor force may need a higher level of education and competence. 

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Bottom Line 

Automation in construction, as previously mentioned, refers to the use of technology or machinery to do human work quicker and easier. Developing customisable construction automation software is a perfect solution that offers many useful all-in-one features to assist construction tasks. Synergix ERP Software is the one you should pick. Let’s have a free consultation from our expert to leverage your business!

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